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Zombie networks!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Here's an item from zdnet to take your mind off terrorist subway attacks.

"Re-mix" seems to be the meme of the month, having made the cover of Wired. Lawrence Lessig says re-mix is how culture is created. Jam two old things together and see what you get.

In this post, I'm going to mix my text and that of zdnet just to see what it feels like. (Zdnet text is brown.)

Computer hijacking on the rise

Personal computers that play unwitting host to "zombie" code are proliferating at a startling pace, according to a new report. That's just what we need, eh? Have we created a monster? I no more want intruders wandering around in my computer than I want them breaking into my house.

It's as if a zombie were sitting in your chair, tapping on your keyboard. Intruders can remotely control a network of infected machines to launch attacks on other computers and Web sites, spread spam and steal data, for example. Like most worms and viruses, zombie programs largely target machines running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

As if worms, viruses, and other malicious software were not enough, zombie incidents, also known as "bot" attacks reached 13,000 this quarter..., quadruple the number in the previous three months.

This is only the beginning, for a growing number of attacks are being launched with the goal of financial gain. Professional thieves are replacing the vandals. Some attackers steal financial data, while others hold a person or group hostage by gaining complete control over a machine or network.

I'm confident a persistent bot could find a way to break into my home network and rob me blind. Imagine finding out that some thief had cleaned out your bank accounts, liquidated your portfollio, maxed out your credit cards, and disappeared without a trace. Excuse me while I go to another machine and change all my passwords.

Hello. Can't Intuit or McAfee or Symantec or Google do something about this? Privacy, the killer app.


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